2023 Resolutions Part 2: Most Effective Exercise

February 1, 2023

Japanese man holding hand weights


As part of our larger, year long resolution / goal of 15% / 22% body fat respectively, there are a few smaller goals that lead to your bigger goal.

As you will recall, we talked about water and hydration and setting up your process for getting in the optimal amount of water every day (formula: your body weight divided by 2 is the number of ounces of pure water that your body needs every day).

The second major essential of getting lean (burning off body fat and building lean body mass: muscles, bones, organs, and the fluids of your body) is high quality animal protein. The highest quality protein for the human body by far is whey protein isolate (what JDD protein is made out of). The process is simple: drink two JDD shakes every day. Start your day with a “2 scoop” shake including some healthy fat like unsweetened coconut milk or whole milk or olive oil or avocado oil or a half or whole avocado. Your second JDD shake is within 30 minutes of the end of your workout to kickstart your recovery.  

And this is the perfect segue into the essential component of an optimally healthy lifestyle we are going to discuss in this session.

The photo at the top of this newsletter came from this week’s Economist magazine. The Economist is an international magazine that covers all aspects of the global economy including health. I loved the photo of the elderly gentleman doing a Heavy Hands like exercise routine.

Staying Lean means Longer Life

Japan is the healthiest, longest living major economy on earth. They are working toward something called healthy life expectancy (HLE). I call it maximum health span – same basic idea. In Japan, the world’s oldest country, men live an average of 81.6 years and women live an average of 87.7 years. Getting and staying lean (15% or less body far / 22% or less body fat) is an integral part of achieving HLE: healthy life expectancy or maximum health span. The article underscored that living longer is only desirable if we are clear-minded and fully functional.

Exercise is an integral component of getting and staying lean because lean body muscle mass is use it or lose it. If we do not exercise on a regular basis – for at least 30-45 minutes at least 3-5 times per week for life – our body and our brain will atrophy.

If exercise is so important, what is the most effective exercise and why?
The single most effective exercise is full-body, aerobic exercise. The simplest, most practical version of full-body aerobic exercise is walking with Heavy Hands.  

I started training seriously when I was 16 years old. Prior to high school, I was a fat, non-athlete. First 2 years of high school, I was a mediocre, third string swimmer on the varsity. Junior year, we got a new coach. He coached football in the fall and swimming in the spring. He later took the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl and won. Coach Vermeil changed my life for the better. By the time I was a senior, I was an All American swimmer. After 2 years as an All American swimmer in junior college, I volunteered for the United States Marine Corps. I was a survival swim and a drown-proofing instructor. In September of 1966, I went to Vietnam. I spent a year in the jungle as a squad leader. September, 1967 I got my second Purple Heart: an Ak-47 bullet through my right thigh. I arrived home on a stretcher and could not walk. Then it was a cane, then a limp, then a walk, then a jog, then running 5 miles a day, 7 days a week.  

I had been training seriously for 22 years before I began walking with Heavy Hands in 1982 at age 38.   I was 13% body fat with a resting heart rate of 48. Within a couple of years, I was 5-7% body fat with a resting heart rate of 35. Injury free.

Aerobic Exercise is the Best

The best conditioned athletes in the world are cross country skiers. How do we know that? Cross country skiers have the highest O2 or oxygen-uptake in the world. The more oxygen your body can use, the better shape you are in. World class cross country skiers have O2 uptakes in the high 90’s. The average person is in the low 20’s. When you do full-body aerobic exercise, you burn a tremendous number of calories. If you stay in the aerobic range (meaning you can continue to breathe comfortably through your nose), then you are burning body fat like crazy. (Anytime you are puffing and panting, you are not burning fat. You are burning sugar and muscle. It takes a surplus of oxygen to burn far.)

The lower your resting heart rate, the bigger and stronger your heart is. The bigger and strong your heart, the more energy and endurance and stamina you have.

A full-body aerobic exercise like walking with Heavy Hands will strengthen your entire body including your back, your shoulders and your core. Your whole body will be lean and toned. You will look great at the pool, the lake or the beach.

Aerobic Exercise and Your Brain

We have 2 brains: our right brain and our left brain. They are connected by the corpus callosum. When we do full-body aerobic exercise, it accelerates the transfer of information between the 2 halves of our brain: your will literally think faster. And your memory will be sharper.  

And walking with Heavy Hands is practical. You can walk around your neighborhood. You can walk on a treadmill. You can walk around your living room while you watch your grand kids. Walk for 30 to 45 minutes pumping light dumbbells starting with just one pound in each hand. Go for a Heavy Hands walk 3 to 5 times per week.  

I was born in 1944. Walking with Heavy Hands is still my core exercise. With walking with Heavy Hands as my only method of training, I have done Mt. Whitney 3 times – the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 states. That’s a 22 mile hike climbing from 8,300 feet to 14,500 feet. The second time I did it in 9 hours round trip. I was 49. I did the Grand Canyon rim to rim in my 50’s. That is 24 miles one way. It is about 4,780 feet from the South Rim to the Colorado River. It is about 5,734 feet from the Colorado to the North Rim. I was 72 the last time I did the South Rim to the Colorado River and back up to the South Rim in one day. That’s 9.5 miles down and 9.5 miles back up.

Stand up straight. Keep your world big. Never retire. As the great Duke Ellington said: “Retire to what?”

Thanks for listening. I will share the full Heavy Hands walking process next time.

I appreciate your business.